Business Facilities July/August 2010 : Page 34

Technology Park inTucson. TEP will purchase another 25 megawatts from a photovoltaic system owned by Fotowatio Renewable Energies. [for more information about Tucson and alternative energy, see Industry Focus on page 36 of this issue]. Knoxville, TN also caught our attention when we rated the top 1. AUSTIN, TX 2. NASHVILLE, TN 3. PORTLAND, OR 4. TULSA, OK 5. ALBUQUERQUE, NM metros for alternative energy leader-ship. We were particularly impressed with the bold plans announced ear-lier this year, when the area declared itself the Knoxville-Oak Ridge Innovation Valley, bringing researchers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and University of Tennessee/Knoxville Top 10 Metro -Quality Of Life 6. SEATTLE, WA 7. LEXINGTON, KY 8. MINNEAPOLIS, MN 9. CHICAGO, IL 10. SAN FRANCISCO, CA Top 10 Metro -Aerospace/Defense Manufacturing 1. WICHITA, KS 2. HUNTSVILLE, AL 3. SEATTLE, WA 4. CHARLESTON, SC 5. FT. WORTH, TX 34 JULY/AUGUST 2010 6. TUCSON, AZ 7. PHOENIX, AZ 8. LOS ANGELES, CA 9. TAMPA/ ST. PETERSBURG, FL 10. ORLANDO, FL together in an ambitious effort to establish the region as a primary alternative energy hub. Improved LED lights, high tech air filtration systems and lighter, stronger and easier-to-ship materi-als—all developed locally—are fuel-ing a promising, and increasingly green, future for the Knoxville-Oak Ridge Innovation Valley. Concrete examples of the region’s technical and entrepreneur-ial synergies are easy to find. LED North America wants to make LED lights last longer. The com-pany also is making use of light-weight carbon foam developed at ORNL that reduces temperatures in LED engines by as much as ten degrees Celsius. Another example of Innovation Valley technology at work locally is Knoxville-based Bandit Lites, one of the entertainment world’s largest lighting providers. Gaining a com-petitive edge by working with GRNLite, the company has developed a full range of rugged, bright and affordable LED fixtures that reduce onstage heat, use 90 percent less electricity and reduce truck space, cutting related fuel and emissions. Technology transfer is also at work locally at Industrial Ceramic Solutions, which produces ceramic fiber filters for industrial and diesel exhaust applications. The company, headed by former Oak Ridge materials research scientist Dick Nixdorf, is also developing high performance reinforcement fibers to improve durability of combustion chamber liners in coal-fired power plants. Nixdorf ’s company also works with carbon nanotubes, which could improve fuel cells and

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